A fully 3D Printed Metal 1911 Pistol

    It was bound to eventually happen, but I did not think it would be so soon. The company Solid Concepts has printed an entire 1911 pistol with a 3D laser metal sintering printer. What is more, the company has an FFL Manufacturing license and can print guns on behalf of customers with a five day turnaround. You provide them with a suitable CAD model and they will print it for you. This video shows their all-printed 1911 being fired …

    What is even more amazing is that they printed the barrel, including the rifling grooves. There was no machining whatsoever involved in the manufacturing of this gun.


    SolidWorks writes

    Laser sintering is one of the most accurate manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the 3D Metal Printed interchangeable and interfacing parts within our 1911 series gun. The gun proves laser sintering can meet tight tolerances. 3D Metal Printing has less porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. The barrel sees chamber pressure above 20,000 psi every time the gun is fired.  “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Printing,” says Firestone. “As far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

    I mentioned earlier this isn’t about desktop printers, and it’s not. The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition (and I went to a private university) and the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they’re doing and understand 3D Printing better than anyone in this business. Thanks to them, Solid Concepts is debunking the idea that 3D Printing isn’t a viable solution or isn’t ready for mainstream manufacturing. We have the right materials, and the right engineers who know how to best program and maintain these machines, to make 3D Printing accurate, powerful and here to stay.

    So you won’t be able to print a gun from a small desktop printer, but technology is only going to get smaller and cheaper. One day a machine gun will be just a click away …

    Thanks to Whaleoil and Matteo for the tip.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!